tv The Daily Rundown MSNBC May 21, 2013 6:00am-7:01am PDT
our thoughts and prayers are with you and everybody else. i know after the may 3rd tornado, nobody thought moore was going to come back, but they did. it's going to happen again, isn't it? >> it sure is, yeah. >> thank you so much for being with us. >> mark, thank you very much. >> good luck and god bless. chuck todd takes up conch. we will be here, obviously, all day and tomorrow and the rest of the week. thanks for being with us. new pictures this morning of moore, oklahoma, where the devastation is overwhelming and heartbreaking. and one hour from now, president obama will speak about the tragedy and the rescue and recovery efforts that are underway. and we're expecting a press conference from moore, oklahoma. that will begin in a few minutes. we'll have that live for you right here.
it's tuesday, may 21st, 2013. this is "the daily rundown," i'm chuck todd. we begin in the suburbs of oklahoma city where block after block has been leveled by a massive killer tornado that swept through monday afternoon. 51 killed, but the oklahoma city medical examiner now says that number may have included people counted twice, so the official number of dead may be only in the 20s, thankfully. 24 right now. nevertheless, there are concerns that whatever the death toll number is, it will go higher. the town of moore is in ruins. local papers are already comparing this tornado to the 300-mile-an-hour twister that hit the same area in may of 1999. two storms followed almost the exact same path. residents got word of monday's tornado at 2:40 p.m. local time, when the first warnings went out. 16 minutes later, the tornado touched down and headed directly for the town of moore. >> it is a mile-wide debris
cloud, it is a mile-wide wedge, violent tornado. the only way you're going to guarantee you will survive is if you are out of the way, below ground, storm cellar or basement. >> this thing is, it's huge. keep going left, travis. keep going left. right there, boom. there it is. >> you've got to act. you can't think or delay. you've got to act. and act, and act to save your life and save your loved one's lives. >> mike, mike, we're about to get in the path of this tornado! we're traveling south. major, major, major wedge on the ground. >> the whole warren theater area, i see a lot of heavy, heavy debris in the air. >> that's what folks in moore were hearing yesterday afternoon, when this thing hit. the tornado stretched a mile, possibly two miles wide, as it barrelled into the community of 41,000. initial reports say the twister was an ef-4. local forecasters say it may have been an ef-5, but frankly, who cares at this point. it was very destructive. winds over 200 miles per hour. residents in the storm's path had just minutes to find shelter or get underground if they had a
basement. >> when you see a tornado that big, you find a place, you have no choice. it's find cover or die. >> glass and debris started slamming on us and we thought something -- we thought we were dead, to be honest. >> i had a little man in my lap there, holding him down while the three other guys bigger than me were pulling on the door to keep it from flying open. >> my brother was talking to her on the phone whenever it hit, and she said, it's ripping my house up, and all of a sudden she screamed and got disconnected. >> less than an hour, it was all over. the images show a landscape nearly swept clean. homes, businesses were torn off their foundations, leaving just piles of rubble. as we said, we think the death toll is just at 24, cut in half from what the original reports were as a medical examiner believes that they may have been double counting. several children are believed to be among those killed. somewhere inside plaza towers elementary school, took a direct hit. at least five schools were damaged in the area.
80 members of the oklahoma national guard have been called up to join local emergency crews, looking for survivors overnight. 101 people were pull ed alive from wreckage of their homes. >> a lot of those were in storm shelters. we're very hopeful as we continue our search today, we'll find more people in same or similar situations, where they may be under debris in storm shelters. >> all right. i want to bring in nbc meteorologist bill karins who has the latest on what happened in moore. bill, so, sunday evening, we have one set of storms causing the tornado issue that we had in one part of oklahoma. was this all the same storm, was it moves this slowly? what made this one different? >> well, it was different because it actually was four days of the same storm, joe. we started this friday with a tornado outbreak in pretty rural areas. another one on saturday. and on sunday, we had one big one that killed two people. that was also an ef-4 outside of
oklahoma city. and we'll have day five of our severe weather outbreak today. more tornadoes this morning, but this will be from a separate storm. i'll explain that. let me take you through. this is what happened in the last 24 hours. the red triangles are the tornados. we had about 16 of them, but we only took that one monster one that did this damage you see here. those homes in the middle were just crushed. like confetti chopped up. as far as what we dealt, is there anyone to blame? there just isn't. it looks like every precaution was done. the weather service had the watch out two hours in advance, the warning was 25 to 40 minutes in advance. you can't ask for any better than that. we had live pictures of it on tv before it formed, as it formed, during its life cycle, and then when it dissipated. we really can't ask for much more, but it still did this much devastation. this map shows you the west side of moore. this looks like where some of the brunt of it was. the moore medical center, which has the piled up cars next to the building and the plaza towers elementary school.
that red line in the middle is where the center of the storm went, the gray width, that's how wide the tornado damage was. and all those are little homes and subdivisions that were wipe off the map in the middle. and as far as the comparisons between '99 and what we dealt with yesterday, they crisscrossed each other, very similar path, but the one yesterday went a little south of the downtown area, the one 15 years ago went a little north of oklahoma. as far as the death count goes, we have to wait the see what materializes in the days ahead. but it is very doubtful this will end up in the top six all-time, and a lot of those were before we had technology, late 1800s, early 1900s. today's culprit, down at the bottom of your screen, that will head into texas. the areas most at risk are red. but we have a severe watch out, memphis, chicago, it's that area of red we're most concerned with. make sure they have a chance of tornadoes today and the
possibility of strong tornadoes. and chuck, those will be forming literally over the top of the dallas-ft. worth area some time around 3:00, 4:00 this afternoon and then they'll spread across north texas. >> i imagine everybody watching what's going on in oklahoma, hopefully will take even extra precaution today. bill karins, thank you very much. i want to go to thomas roberts. he's live in moore, oklahoma. thomas, i know you've been there overnight. describe what you're seeing, what you have seen, and tell me where you're standing right now. >> reporter: chuck, good morning to you. we are standing in a suburb residential neighborhood here in moore. moore being a suburb of oklahoma city. as you can see behind me, what was a beautiful residential street is now just completely wrecked by what came through here yesterday. you'll notice that on several of the homes, something that became very popular during katrina, the xs that are spray painted on the structures themselves, meaning that they've been cleared, to make sure no one's there.
in the last hour, we had an opportunity to speak with the gentleman who was living in this house with his wife. he was at home at the time, his wife was at work. they all got out okay. but chuck, interestingly enough. people in this neighborhood right now, just over a few block, they're actually pitching tents in their front yards to make sure they're not going to have any issues with looters. there were helicopters up overnight to make sure there weren't issues with that. certainly, the police presence in and around this area has been very overwhelming as first responders, search and rescue crews have been working in really people-concentrated areas. what i mean by that, the movie theaters, casino, tower plaza elementary school has been a big area of concern where many people died in yesterday's storms. we'll work on taking everybody to a press conference coming up just around the corner. they have a media press area at the dick's sporting goods story. we don't have an exact time of when they're going to be giving us an update. but as it stands right now, the death toll is at 51, but the
medical examiner does predict that will go up when they get confirmation later today. we'll work on that for you. >> and we know there's been some confusion about the death toll. so while our best sources indicate that it's 51 for now, we know that there's some confusion. hopefully that will get cleared up in this hour. thomas roberts in moore, thanks very much. there have only been six tornados in u.s. history to cause more than $1 billion in damage. one of them was in moore, oklahoma, it was in 1999. the bridge creek/moore tornado killed 36 people, injured 583, damaged or destroyed over 8,000 homes and it cost $1.4 billion to clean up. now the town is responding to another devastating twister. president obama, who spoke to oklahoma governor mary fallin monday evening has declared a major disaster declaration in the state. that leameans a whole bunch of federal aid can start coming in. at the president's zrex, fema administrator craig fugate is traveling to oklahoma this morning. we'll hear from the president later at the end of this hour.
governor fallin was on "morning joe" just a few minutes ago. >> this is a big job to coordinate something of this magnitude. this is a huge disaster area. it's horrific. it's a big tragedy and a sad day for oklahomans and we want to do everything that we can to get emergency personnel out there, to get food, water, shelter, and getting back to the president, he did call and we are very grateful for that. we appreciate them approving the fema direction quickly. he offered any type of resources we might need here in the state and we appreciate that. >> politico's lois romano covered that '99 storm, and don nibls, a former republican senator from oklahoma, who has a long experience with these kind of disasters. welcome to both of you. senator nichols, tell me about moore, oklahoma. >> well, it's a special place. it's a suburb of oklahoma city. unfortunately, it's had this challenge before. i was there in '99, after that
storm, and it was devastating. i can remember, i've been and seen, witnessed the recoveries of a lot of tornadoes, but the one in '99 in moore stands out, because it was so devastating. and frankly, we were so lucky in '999. it was a devastating tornado, just missed a high school. the high school was full of kids. and the high school parking lot, i remember it like yesterday, was just, i don't know, a hundred cars, just jammed together. and no one was killed, i don't think, in the high school. it could have killed hundreds, so we were very fortunate. but it was devastating. and this just looks just like it. >> i was going to say, lois, tell me about the -- you're watching all this coverage over the last 24 hours and i've heard you on the phone talking with friends and family you have there. what do you see? >> i think it looks worse. i can remember driving from tulsa to oklahoma city that morning and it's like what you
would imagine armageddon to be. i mean, you're looking around and tractor-trailers are tote lly turned on their side skand hous are kind of decimated. and when we got to the core about it, the thing about these tornadoes, is that they strike with an odd precision. so you'll walk to a home and all the walls will be down, right, the roof will be off, and the china closet will be standing there with china in it. >> without anything touched. >> without anything touched. and, you know, i remember talking to a woman who, one of the things they tell you to do, oklahomane oklahomans are very well versed in this. they say, get in your bathtub and put a mattress over you. i remember walking to this town house, there was the shell of the town house, you could see a rickety staircase going up to the top, and she was in the tub, and she -- when it was over, she pulled the mattress off, and she's just looking at the sky. it's just extraordinary.
>> you know, senator, you talked about -- and lois just mentioned how well versed okalhomans are with this, in dealing with this. talk about the rebuilding. how long did it take moore to recover? there's one thing to recover psychologically. >> they are resilient and they'll bounce back. but for this area, it is devastating. and i agree with lois. this may be -- these places were absolutely obliterated? >> some are saying that school and the hospital, you're sitting there and you can't believe it. >> the school is what just tugs at your heart. to think of having the kids go through that. i hope and pray that your revised numbers -- >> i know, it's like the only exciting things you heard this morning, maybe the number's wrong. >> when i first got up this morning, i'm checking online and i heard the number might go up to 91, i thought, oh, this is terrible, and now we're maybe talking down from 51, i really hope and pray that's the case.
>> parents make a judgment, you know, because you believe the schools are going to be safe. schools are built -- >> they're built to be shelters. everywhere in the country. >> the high school that the senator was talking about was actually a shelter. people were there because they were told to go there. it was meant to be a shelter. so you make a judgment, and the school says, we're secure, so let's leave the kids here. >> and i was surprised how few houses have basements in moore. why is that? >> i'm not really sure, geographically -- why they don't do it. i think it's just -- well, i know why, i'm sorry, there's a lot of clay in the ground. the grounds are very, very hard. so they have a designated storm cellar. you might have a storm cellar, you know, maybe 30 feet from your house. that's correct, right? and then you have designated shelters. and the other thing is, this is like an industry in oklahoma. so the weather people are on this. >> and they know this stuff. they're basically --
>> they know this stuff a lot better than our arch -- you guys are sticking around. senator nichols and lois romano. we'll be back with our continuing coverage of what is just a devastating situation in moore, oklahoma. but before we go, we'll take a look at today's politics planner. some additions to it, of course. the president speaking on the tragedy in oklahoma. he'll do that right at the end of this hour. we'll bring you that live, right here on msnbc. what do you think? that's great. it won't take long, will it? nah. okay. this, won't take long will it? no, not at all. how many of these can we do on our budget? more than you think. didn't take very long, did it? summer's here, so are the savings. that's nice. post it. already did. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. get memorial day savings, like 3 bags of earthgro® mulch for just $10.
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it like flipped off the door and i could see with my own eyes. and after that, pretty much, i could feel bricks all over my body. >> when monday's twister hit, oklahoma was already dealing with the damage sustained by the storm on sunday. that's when oklahoma governor mayor fallon first declared a state of emergency after tornadoes tore through 16 oklahoma counties. oklahoma congressman james lankford, a member of the republican leadership, represents the fifth district, just six miles north of where the storm did its worst damage. he toured storm damage on monday before returning to d.c. he joins me now. he's still in washington. congressman lankford, good morning to you. >> good morning. >> what -- do you have any new information you know from the ground, from officials you've talked to this morning? what can you share with us? >> no, we're watching the same as everyone else on that side right now. i know the families that are affected, the school, they are huddled together and they're kind of waiting this out and there are counselors and pastors
there that are with them and they have the opportunity to be able to wait and watch. so we're waiting and watching as well. >> what kind of warning do you feel like folks had in moore and folks had in your district and also on sunday. do you feel like -- was there as much preparation as could be had when it comes to preparing for a tornado? >> chuck, there really was, the national weather service is located in norman, oklahoma, just about ten miles south of there. we have fantastic weather service and weather warning. so there was ample warning, even several days in advance, that this looks like this is a serious tornado situation, and then the day of, on sunday, we were all very aware, watching it very carefully. our news stations carried it very well, the national weather service did great warnings and updates on it. people that were watching had that opportunity. but you've got to understand, a typical tornado that comes through, an ef-1, 2, or 3, may take off a roof and take out
some glass. so people hide in place. but that's a normal tornado. this is not a normal tornado that happened on sunday in shawnee and not a normal tornado that happened by far in moore. even though people had warning, they went to their normal shelter locations, but it wasn't enough. after the 1999 tornado in moore, a lot of individuals had shelters. when i was in shawnee, with i was with one family, they had a shelter there and there were 14 people inside their shelter underground. all their neighbors had run to their house and they had got underground and they were fine. for individuals that weren't able to get underground or to a spot like that, that's where we had loss of life. >> and compared to what you've seen with other tornado damage, give me some comparison there. >> when that storm came through shawnee, it was a very large tornado as well. it's called a long-track wedge tornado. and it did a tremendous amount
of damage, but it was in a very rural area. the homes that it hit were obliterates, but it hit very few homes because it was in a very rural area. and we even said monday morning, this could have been much worse, if this were in a more urban populated area, suburban area. and by the time i got here monday from the flight, that was hitting the ground there in moore and we had it all over again. >> are you getting all the help from the nofederal government tt you're looking for right now? >> we are. president obama's been on the phone with our governor, mary fallin and declared this a major disaster situation. that allows for individual assistance before people's insurance pays. this would give them a loan in advance of it. so when their insurance pays, they can pay that money back to fema, but it carries them through and helps them with some initial costs. and also have what's called public assistance. that public assistance helps for cities the, states, counties, to help carry them through the overtime, the extra bulldozers
and equipment. there'll be a lot of infrastructure that has to be repaired. that will help us through that process. that's being expedited. and the fema director is coming today as well in oklahoma. so we're getting great response from fema. the bulk of what's happening is our state and local and through cities, we've had businesses that have already donated money and there are lines over a mile long yesterday in volunteer and donation areas, all around the city. so there's a lot of ongoing help here. >> do you expect to have any problems getting financial assistance passed in congress, if you guys are going to need it? >> we don't even know what we need at this point. the last time this came through moore, was about $1 billion. we don't know what fema has in their budget. we give them a large budget to be able to handle major disasters. we're early in the year. we don't know what's required at this point. we'll have to wait on all the timing and the dollars and all that's for another day. right now we're focused on people and the immediate response and the immediate response is going very well. >> republican congressman james lankford from the fifth district, just north of where this tornado went through.
of course, you just had a of the devastation in shawnee. thanks for coming on this morning and sharing. meanwhile, i want to show you this picture. it's just in from noaa. it shows a satellite image of the tornado as it was developing over central oklahoma just one minute before it touched down in the town of moore. this is from the satellite. you can see that white swirl there. much more from moore and all of the trang coming up. we'll talk to the red cross about how you can help and we're going to hear from some of the storm chasers who followed yesterday's tornado on the ground. we'll be right back. i describe myself as a mother, a writer and a performer. i'm also a survivor of ovarian and uterine cancers. i even wrote a play about that. my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer,
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miss crosswhite. she was covering me and my friend, zachary, and i told her that we were fine, because we were holding on to something, and then she went over to my friend antonio and covered him. and then -- so she saved our lives. >> i want to bring back in politico's lois romano. of course, ten years as a regional correspondent in oklahoma for "the washington post." and senator don nichols, form republican senator from oklahoma. of course, has long experience doing these things. senator, we were all just discussing these warning systems. and we talked about the national weather service being in norman. that's not an accident that it's in norman. this is tornado alley. what is the realistic warning season that's out there? is it hours, is it minutes? what is it? >> well, i think when you have a warning, you know that this is the time of year and then they usually say, this really looks like it could be a time that might happen. then you watch it. but once it comes down, most
people don't really get, oh, now it's there. but the media in oklahoma, they cover it extensively. i was on last night watching -- >> kfor -- >> live streamed this entire storm. the whole state is. and this is an experience, not just meteorologists, but an experienced population. >> and they're ready for it. they have all their shelters. and basically, what senator nichols said is correct. we have a weather service in norman, oklahoma, and the local affiliates pick it up. you know, i remember covering a guy who was watching it on his tv in 1999. and he looked and he said, oh, it's coming right towards my apartment. >> and he knew. >> and he left. but i think you just never know what the power of it is going to be. >> and that's the hard part. >> right. >> i want to bring in the severe weather expert doctor that we go to, dr. greg forbes, from the weather channel. dr. forbes, what about this storm. i know we're in the middle of
trying to classify it, is it an ef-4, an ef-5. at this point, we know it was devastating. but we were talking about this. was there -- there's warnings that a tornado might hit. was there warnings that it was going to have this much impact? >> no, i don't think so. we're not nearly as skilled in terms of predicting how intense the tornado is going to be as we are in saying that, yes, or no, there is a tornado. now, that said, the longer this particular storm and tornado got going, the wider it became on radar, and the more intense it became on radar. so the wording went up along the way that there's a large, destructive tornado in progress. it was being seen from chasers, it was being seen from helicopters. maybe not right from the beginning, but along the way, some of the peep along the track got word that this was a very large, very destructive tornado that was heading their way.
>> now, dr. forbes, the technology to track these storms, both on the ground, and i know that cantore and the doommobile has been doing this more aggressively this year. are we getting the type of data we need from this tracking that is going to increase the ability to warn folks, maybe they get more warning, rather than 16, 20 minutes, but maybe it gets up to an hour, two hours. >> reporter: yeah, certainly, one piece of new technology that has been deployed across the united states now with all the radars, they've been upgraded to what's called dual pole. so that instead of just seeing the return on radar, it with see the nature of what's in it. and there's a particular signature that if things are in the inside the beam and tumbling, that shows up. it's called a correlation signature. and that one was being -- was pegging the radar in terms of this particular tornado, that there was a destructive tornado in progress with lots of debris
that was tumbling within that. so that is one thing. and then a little farther down the line, all of this doppler radar data is planned to be used in a forecasting system that can actually project ahead of time where the tornado is going to go, and even to some extent, where the tornado might form. >> dr. greg forbes from the weather channel, always good to get your expertise on this. thank you, sir. thanks for coming over. up next, we'll talk to two guys who voluntarily got very close to this tornado in moore, oklahoma. they're storm chasers. they're all over these days. we'll talk to two of them right after the break. we went out and asked people a simple question:
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that incredible video of monday's devastating storm, as it made its way across oklahoma, came courtesy of these folks. joining me now on the phone are storm chasers simon brewer and juston drake from the weather channel's show, "storm riders." they caught it all on video. juston, let me start with you. i know that you had a home damaged by a tornado. tell me about, as you were following through and you were following this tornado, what exactly, as you were seeing it develop and what about it made it seem different to you. >> well, this tornado was significantly more violent than most of the tornados that simon brewer and i have ever chased. we first were able to see the moore tornado. you could see that not only was it being slightly obscured by the rain that was wrapping around it, but the significant amount of damage was obscuring
some of the view of the tornado, that let us know how violent it was, baa the stuff it was destroying and wrapping around the intense tornado. >> simon, how long were you guys following this storm? like, when were you able to catch it and how long were you able to track it as it made its way across? >> we began just north of the storm. several minutes before the tornado developed. and we became stuck in traffic, in central oklahoma city, and had to take several different maneuvers in oklahoma city to go through some city streets, to avoid the traffic, get around some traffic jams, and then we were able to get on the north side of moore, and then we followed the tornado as it crossed interstate 35 and then as it started to dissipate in what we called a rope-out stage east of moore. and the debris going around it
was a lot of different, instead of large chunks of debris, it really seemed like the debris was atomized. >> juston, explain to viewers who may sit there and say, how do these guys do this, what is it about storm chasing and all this, explain what information you hope that you're gathering that can help in the future. >> well, when simon and i are out chasing, we go out because we want to document whatever super cell they were on actually produces. and some of this video we get, it really shows the type of interactions that are going on within a storm. and we're hoping that later on as they do research for storms such as this one, maybe our video will possibly shed some light on the actual interactions and stuff that's going on within the storm after a tornado actually forms. and maybe they'll get some insight later on and maybe able to predict when a storm is going to produce a tornado a little bit later on. and we really want to be there so we can get the video documented, and hopefully later on it can be used for some
useful research. >> simon, you've done this for a long time, for a decade now. what have you learned in your experience doing this? >> i've learned quite a bit. with every situation, it's different. with this situation, it was completely different. one thing we learned on this situation, the wall cloud associated with this tornado was mostly on the north and northeastern side of the tornado and had some striking differences to some other wall clouds that we've seen. this wall cloud was hugging the ground, made it very difficult to see the tornado, even with all the debris. and there's this feature called a tail cloud, that's really inflow feeding into this wall cloud and it was racing in at a speed that i don't think i've ever seen before. >> all right. simon and juston, the storm riders. it's a show on the weather channel. don't miss it. i believe it's on tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. thank you both for coming on the
show this morning. >> thank you. >> no problem. >> joining by now by phone is dan halliburton from the american red cross. and of course, they are right now among the first responders on the ground, non-government related. and dan, what exactly can people do right now to help? >> well, we do need their help. we've been very hard hit in the united states with all kinds of disasters. just in the last six weeks, i've been volunteering in west granbury and now here in moore. and our operations are significant. we're on the ground here. that operation is growing by the hour. and, you know, we need the support of the american people and financial contributions so that we can bring that result to the people of the united states. >> at this point, can you give an estimation how many people appear to be displaced? >> i don't have that number. i can tell you that when i came in last night, the area was at least a mile or so in the dark, maybe two miles by a mile and a
half, a block, about that square. there's homes that were completely without electricity and many of those homes are damaged and completely destroyed. i'm on a street right now where on my left are some homes that are heavily damaged, but still standing. on the right-hand side of the street is nothing but debris. and not big piles of debris, just a flattened area that like something had been vacuumed everything off of that block. >> and dan, you talked about what's happened over the last six weeks, is it you guys are getting depleted in your resources. explain how you use your money. what exactly is this money used for in the next week or two? >> when people make a donation to the red cross, it supports a lot of things. first of all, the logistics, the materials, the things that are needed on the ground here. we've got 25 plus vehicles on the way. you've got to fuel them up, bring people in to run them, you've got to run our
headquarters and command. but more importantly, we're out buying the food and the supplies that people will need immediately. right away, we're helping the first sponsors. when the neighbors come in, we'll feed them, we'll operate our shelters and then as the recovery continues, there'll be other activitieses that will happen. start to put people into the red cross system and we'll start to coordinate some of the things, the benefits and some of the things they immediate to get their lives moving forward. so it's a big operation. there are a lot of people who are primarily volunteers like me and, you know, we've got a big operation here at moore and we are still operating in granbury, texas and we'll be here for a good while. >> dan halliburton with the american red cross, thanks very much. and on our screen right now, we'll show you how you can help. to help storm victims, text "redcross" to 90999 or donate
online at redcross.org. there have been conflicting reports on the death toll here. we want to clarify what we know at the moment. we believe at least 51 deaths have been reported, but to date, 24 victims have been transported to the medical examiner's office. so those 24 deaths are all that the oklahoma medical examiner can confirm. of course, we hope that it is the low eer number. we'll be right back. how many simple ingredients does your dog food have? 30? 20? new purina one beyond has 9. the simplified purina one beyond. learn more about these wholesome ingredients at purinaone.com a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me. a talking train. this ge locomotive can tell you exactly where it is, what it's carrying, while using less fuel.
to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. that was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again, and now i gotta take more pills. ♪ yup another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] this may, buy aleve and help those in need. one of my little boys said, he just kept saying, i love you, i love you, please don't die with me, please don't die with me. but we're okay. >> you were looking around saying, i wish i could see my kids, i want to see the students. and i do have a student here who wants to say thank you to you. this is damian klein and his
mom, brandi. >> i told you we were going to be okay. >> that was rhonda crosswhite, a teacher at plaza tower elementary school. he was reunited moments ago on the "today" show with one of the students she helped save. right now i'm joined by jim cantore, live in moore, oklahoma. and i understand you can help us out a little bit on these conflicting reports on the death toll. >> reporter: yeah, the death toll, when we started this morning was at 91. and it kept going up yesterday, all night, and this morning again, popped up to 91 people. now, what's happened is there's been some information that's been either doubled or not given. but i actually talked to lieutenant governor todd lam. he had spent some time in the media. most of the information he had given us, we already know and had been discussing.
but as he was walking out, i had just heard that rumor and i walked over and asked him, sir, is there confusion on the death toll, he goes, yes, there is. he's not very happy about it. he says, all we can say now is 24 deaths is all we can confirm at this time. that does not mean there are not 50, that does mean mean there are not 100. but all we can confirm are 24. but the point is, there are till people missing and this is very much a search and rescue here, todd -- or, chuck, i'm sorry. and what we'll be dealing with a search and rescue all day today, probably even into tomorrow. you've seen the pictures from the air, you've seen the rubble. we're at least 3/4 of a mile from the main core of the debris and this is stuff that has been centrifuged out. so as the tornado goes up and you have that rapid rotation, you have the debris that lands here. the weather is going to probably stay cloudy and cool here. i'm sorry, go ahead, chuck.
>> you were tracking this storm and this front for a good 48 hours before it hit. what made this different? what about it made you know this was going to be a big problem? >> reporter: you know what's interesting, the tornado parameters weren't as high as they were yesterday -- or, as they were two days ago. so that kind of surprised me a little bit. but it looked like just from watching the radar and the satellite, that something came into the backside of this. and the tornado, you have air motion that's coming in on the east side. and you heard from simon and juston, talking about that. but there was some kind of boundary that was dropping in on the backside. maybe that actually helped to enhance the circulation of the tornado itself. and this is the primary one that took over, and as we saw from radar images, both of wind and debris, you can clearly see an expanding debris ball as this left newcastle and made its way all the way up here into the moore area. and i'll tell you, i was in newcastle, yesterday, and the
damage there is horrible. i mean, literally, from about half a mile to 3/4 of a mile, from when this developed, it was producing ef-3 damage. 150 to 160-mile-per-hour winds. here, we're thinking 180180 to possibly 200 miles per hour. the national weather service out assessing that today. >> the difference between a 4 and 5 at this point is not much for the folks in moore. anyway, jim cantore in moore for us. thank you very much, sir. we're expecting to hear from the president in just a few moments. our live coverage of the tragedy in oklahoma continues right after the break. [ female announcer ] love. it's the most powerful thing on the planet. love holds us in the beginning. comforts us as we grow old. love is the reason you care. for all the things in your life... that make life worth living.
his chief national security, homeland security adviser about what is being seen on the ground. want to go live to my colleague, chris jansing, who is in moore, oklahoma. sheilver be taking over coverage in a couple of minutes. you have been all around the town in the last 12 hours. what have you seen? >> well, unbelievable devastation. it's almost too much to comprehend how huge this area is. this was a neighborhood. and you can see it, there's nothing left. all there is of this house is a foundation. and everything is just stacked up, piled up, little pieces of people's lives, you know, a cushion from someone's couch. and what we have just started to see is people coming back here for the first time. they're being allowed in. i just talked to a man who rode out the storm in a closet, was on the phone with his wife and had to hang up. we had also see over my right shoulder some people who have just arrived and are starting to
go through things. some of them finding what they all seem to want to find, the things that are irreplaceable like photographs, but this is just the beginning of a long, long process, chuck. >> we'll see you in a couple minutes. continuing coverage of this deadly tornado all day here on msnbc. we'll have the president's statement in just a few minutes live at 10:00. stay with us. this day calls you. to fight chronic osteoarthritis pain. to fight chronic low back pain. to take action. to take the next step. today, you will know you did something for your pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is a pain reliever fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens,
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to support strong bones. and the brand most recommended by... my doctor. my gynecologist. my pharmacist. citracal. citracal. [ female announcer ] you trust your doctor. doctors trust citracal. good morning. i'm chris jansing live from moore, oklahoma, a city that has almost been wiped off the map. a city of complete devastation. you can see behind me what was a subdivision, close together houses, built in the 1970s, now many of them simply wiped away. this is a story we're going to be telling throughout the day live from here in oklahoma, and in just a short time, we're also
going to be hearing from the president who is going to be at the white house with his comments on this terrible, terrible tragedy. congress also expecting this morning to hold a moment of silence. the sun has come up, the governor says rescue workers are still hoping to find survivors, and she will not give up hope. but the devastation is unlike anything people on the ground have ever seen. the damage measured in miles, not blocks. the death toll right now stands at 51. 20 of them children, and we expect it to climb. now, there has been a statement from the medical examiner's office that he only has confirmation of 24 bodies, but we have heard from state and federal officials that at least 51 people were killed in this tragedy. the e-4 twister packed 200-mile-per-hour winds and devastated this community of moore, a suburb of oklahoma city. >> i've never heard a roar like that before.
>> eerie how you can hear the siren and watch the path of the tornado. this morning, there is a very graphic front page of the oklahoman newspaper. the headline, worse than may 3rd, a tornado that hit this area in 1999, and the front line reads the monster returned. we watched as people have been pulled from the rubble. some good news in all of this, and the survivors, they have truly amazing stories. >> we thought we died. >> we have all hands on deck. >> just like in the movie "twister" horses and stuff flying everywhere. >> i got picked up, threw down to the ground. all i can remember after i hit my head, i was landing on top of the dog and i could hear her whimpering, and i can't believe we actually survived this thing. >> and so as we wait for the president to come out and make remarks, i want to